Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 166 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/08/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

The 155 students of Esokone waste a lot of time collecting water needed for drinking, cleaning, and cooking every morning from a hand-dug well near the school. Along with the secondary school, the well also provides water for the local primary school and surrounding community members. Students wait in long lines for water, wasting valuable class time.

Student Derrick S. shared how missing class time impacts the students' academic performance. "We generally perform averagely because we waste a lot of time outside either fetching water or going to look for water."

When the overcrowded dug well breaks down, maintenance costs to repair it are very high, and the school carries the burden of those repairs. When the water from the well is unavailable, students often have to walk long distances to other sources, which can be exhausting and lead to poor concentration in class.

Martin Musungu, a teacher at the school, commented, "I love seeing my students in class busy reading. [That] is when I can promise their future is bright. To enable this goal, water solutions have to be put into consideration. Wastage of time looking for water consumes time created for studies."

The proposed well project will address the current water situation of the school and provide a long-term water solution so students can concentrate on learning and creating bright futures.

What We Can Do:

New Well

We conducted a hydrogeological survey at this school, and the results indicated the water table beneath it is an ideal candidate for a borehole well. Due to a borehole well's unique ability to tap into a safe, year-round water column, it will be poised to serve all of the water needs for this school's large population, even through the dry season.

The school will help collect the needed construction materials such as sand, rocks, and water for mixing cement. They will also provide housing and meals for the work team, in addition to providing local laborers. We will complement their materials by providing an expert team of artisans and drilling professionals, tools, hardware, and hand-pump. Once finished, the school’s students and staff will use water from the well and staff for drinking, handwashing, cooking, cleaning, and much more.

The school and we strongly believe that all of these components will work together to improve standards at this school, which will help lead to better student academic performance and unlock the opportunity for these students to live better, healthier lives.

Handwashing Stations

The student health club will oversee two new handwashing stations we will provide and ensure they are kept clean and in working condition. The club leaders will fill the handwashing stations with water daily and make sure they are always supplied with a cleaning agent such as soap or ash.

VIP Latrines

Two triple-door latrine blocks will be constructed with local materials that the school will help gather. Three doors will serve the girls, and three doors will serve the boys. These new latrines will have cement floors designed to be easy to use and clean. And with a borehole right on school property, there should be enough water to keep them clean.

Training on Health, Hygiene, COVID-19, and More

We will hold a one-day intensive training session with students, teachers, and parents. This training will cover a wide range of topics, including COVID-19 symptoms, transmission routes and prevention; personal and environmental hygiene; and the operation and maintenance of the borehole, latrines, and handwashing stations. There will be a special emphasis on handwashing.

Our team of facilitators will use various methods to train, including participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation and asset-based community development. We will initiate a student health club, which will prepare students to lead other pupils into healthy habits at school and home. We will also lead lectures, group discussions and provide illustrative handouts to teach health topics and promote good hygiene practices within the school, including handwashing and water treatment. We will then conduct a series of follow-up training before transitioning to our regularly scheduled support visits throughout the year.

Project Updates

June, 2022: Esokone Secondary School Borehole Well Complete!

We are excited to share that Esokone Secondary School in Kenya now has access to a new, safe, clean water source thanks to the completion of their new borehole well! Students and staff are already using the well’s flowing water, which will provide them with a reliable source of water for all of their daily needs.

We also installed new latrines and handwashing stations and trained students and staff on improved sanitation and hygiene practices. Together, these components will unlock the opportunity for these students to live better, healthier lives.

"The availability of clean water will boost my health standards," said 18-year-old Susan A. "No [more] contraction of water diseases [like] typhoid. [I will] uphold proper hygiene practices and frequent hand washing."

Susan next to one of our handwashing stations.

"[The] availability of water in school will enable me [to] have enough time to conduct consultations with my teachers," Susan continued. "More time will be created for group discussions, thus [we will have] better academic performance."

Teachers were just as excited as the students about the new well on campus.

Two teachers have fun at the new well.

"The presence of water on our school grounds means a lot to us," said 57-year-old teacher Dan Otienko.

"We will save much time [that we] wasted in going to the primary section to fetch water. [The] water is clean. Health standards will improve, our kitchen staff will be convenienced, hygiene will improve, and daily cleanliness, too."

Daniel stands at the new borehole.

"[We will have] better academic performance, cost savings in terms of construction prices, and water readily available," Daniel continued. "Irrigation will be conducted during dry spells. We can allow disadvantaged communities access during times of need."

How We Got the Water Flowing

Parents, staff, and students all played a part in this well’s success. After determining the best site for the well through a hydrogeological survey, we obtained approval and a license from the government to begin drilling.

To prepare, the school collected fine sand and water for cement-making. When everything was ready, our drill team and staff arrived at the school to begin work.

Drilling commenced with excitement in the air.

This very special groundbreaking ceremony was attended by two of The Water Project's staff from the United States, Director of Program Spencer Bogle and Program Manager Emma Kelly, who happened to be visiting our overseas partners when Esokone's well was ready for drilling.

Spencer speaks with one of the drilling technicians.

While drilling, the team drove down a temporary casing to keep the walls from collapsing as the rig progressed. We continued drilling to reach a final depth of 100 meters with a final static water level of nine meters.

The drilling process can take up to three consecutive days to complete due to this region’s hard bedrock, so the drill team set up a camp where they could rest and refuel. The school’s kitchen staff and parents helped provide meals for the team, while the school provided a safe place for the artisans’ accommodations and materials.

People of all ages came to watch the well’s progress.

Curious students watch drilling.

Once we reached the required depth, the team replaced the temporary casing with a permanent version, then bailed out the dirty water at the bottom of the well. The workers installed pipes, flushed them, tested the well’s yield, and chlorinated the water.

Yield test.

After water treatment, we constructed a cement well pad to seal off the well from any ground-level contaminants. Tiles are installed beneath the spout to protect the cement from the erosive force of the water.

We also included a short drainage channel to carry spilled water away from the pump and prevent standing water. A soak pit absorbs runoff at the end of the drainage channel, further eliminating any stagnant water.

When the well pad was dry, we installed a new stainless steel AfriDev handpump and sampled the water for a quality test. The results showed this water was safe for drinking!

When the students and teachers arrived back at school, their enthusiasm for this much-anticipated project was overwhelming. We officially handed over the new borehole to the school.

Staff member Jacklyne performs the dedication ceremony.

Students and staff celebrated the presence of clean water on campus. The event was an excellent chance to acknowledge the school administration and students as the primary parties entrusted with the tools we have given and remind them of our continued support as they develop. Happiness, thanksgiving, and appreciation were the order of the day, flowing in all directions.

VIP Latrines

This project funded the installation of six new ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines: three for the girls and three for the boys. These new latrines have cement floors designed to be easy to use and clean, locking doors for safety and privacy, and vents to keep air flowing up and out through the roof. With a well right on school property, there should be enough water to keep them clean.

We set up two handwashing stations outside of the girls’ and boys’ latrines and handed them over to the newly formed student health club. Health club members will teach other students how to wash their hands at the stations properly, fill the stations with water, and ensure that there is always a cleaning agent available.

New Knowledge

We scheduled hygiene and sanitation training with the school’s staff, who ensured that the training date would be convenient for pupils and teachers. When the training day arrived, facilitators Jacklyne and Amos deployed to the site to lead the event. 15 students and teachers attended the training, which we held on school grounds.

Our training covered several topics, including personal hygiene, oral hygiene, the ten steps of handwashing, environmental hygiene, child rights, leadership, and operation and maintenance of the well and pump, latrines, and handwashing stations.

Students elected their peers to lead their student health club during the leadership session. Members will encourage good health and hygiene practices amongst their peers, teachers, and the larger community. By the end of the training, each pupil understood their role in sustaining clean water and good health within their school community.

The students' favorite topic was soap-making, which they took detailed notes on. They said that soap is a costly expenditure for their family, and learning how to make it themselves to sell at [the] market will help their parents in tending to their households.

Students take turns stirring the soap mixture.

Another memorable topic was the election of the student health club, which students took very seriously. One said that the election served as good practice, as within a few years the students will be old enough to be voters and community leaders themselves.

"The acquired knowledge will go a long way in boosting my hygiene standards both here in school and back at home," said Allan L., the newly elected president of the student health club.

A group photo of the training participants.


This project required a substantial collaboration between our staff, our partners, and the community members themselves. When an issue arises concerning the well, the students and teachers are equipped with the necessary skills to rectify the problem and ensure the water point works appropriately. However, if the issue is beyond their capabilities, they can contact our field officers to assist them.

Also, we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our ongoing monitoring and maintenance program. We have an ongoing commitment to walk with each community, cooperatively problem-solving when they face challenges of any kind: with functionality, seasonality, or water quality. With all these components together, we strive to ensure enduring access to reliable, clean, and safe water for this community.

With your contribution, one more piece has been added to a large puzzle of water projects. In our target areas, we’re working toward complete coverage of reliable, maintained water sources within a 30-minute round trip for each community, household, school, and health center.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

April, 2022: Esokone Secondary School Well Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Esokone Secondary School drains students’ time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this school through the introduction and pictures we’ve posted, and read about this water, sanitation, and hygiene project. We look forward to reaching out with more good news!

Project Photos

Project Type

Abundant water is often right under our feet! Beneath the Earth’s surface, rivers called aquifers flow through layers of sediment and rock, providing a constant supply of safe water. For borehole wells, we drill deep into the earth, allowing us to access this water which is naturally filtered and protected from sources of contamination at the surface level. First, we decide where to drill by surveying the area and determining where aquifers are likely to sit. To reach the underground water, our drill rigs plunge through meters (sometimes even hundreds of meters!) of soil, silt, rock, and more. Once the drill finds water, we build a well platform and attach a hand pump. If all goes as planned, the community is left with a safe, closed water source providing around five gallons of water per minute! Learn more here!

A Year Later: "This water point indeed has really impacted our lives positively . . ."

January, 2024

A year ago, your generous donation helped Esokone Secondary School in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for William. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Esokone Secondary School.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Esokone Secondary School maintain access to safe, reliable water. Together, they keep The Water Promise.

We’re confident you'll love joining this world-changing group committed to sustainability!

William S., 16, recalled what life was like at Esokone Secondary School before his school's well was installed last year.

"We used to suffer because most of the time, we would miss remedial classes to get water used for cooking, cleaning, and drinking. This was never enough, so we could go more than two trips per person. Most of the time, we could go thirsty because if the water drawn in the morning was finished, we would [have to] wait till lunchtime [for more]," said William.

Collecting water is now much faster and simpler for William and the other students at Esokone Secondary School.

"Since the completion of the water project in our school, we have water at all times on the school grounds, and accessing it is at one's pleasure or need. We no longer suffer thirst because of [the] lack of storage containers," William said.

"We as students never complain of stomach pains as initially when we could drink water from the spring. I can also say that together with my fellow students [we] have enough time to study and be in school early for the morning and evening remedials. This water point indeed has really impacted our lives positively, and in terms of performance, we have greatly improved," William continued.

Having ready access to water from the well has made a difference for William, allowing him to reduce his stress about collecting water and enjoy his time at school.

"Personally, the greatest achievement is to get to school at peace, relaxed, and study without thinking of getting to fetch water," concluded William.

William pumping water.

Right now, there are others in neighboring communities that desperately need safe water access. Your support will immediately go to work to provide a clean water project - and we can't wait to introduce you to the next person you'll help.

Navigating through intense dry spells, performing preventative maintenance, conducting quality repairs when needed and continuing to assist community leaders to manage water points are all normal parts of keeping projects sustainable. The Water Promise community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Esokone Secondary School maintain access to safe, reliable water.

We’d love for you to join this world-changing group committed to sustainability.

The most impactful way to continue your support of Esokone Secondary School – and hundreds of other places just like this – is by joining our community of monthly givers.

Your monthly giving will help provide clean water, every month... keeping The Water Promise.


Garett Hill for Goodness Foundation
4 individual donor(s)